Also, some seeds for the nectar plants that butterflies need for survival will be given away at the event. One of the highlights of the festival is the butterfly parade, where people are encouraged to dress up as a butterfly or caterpillar. Hart said it was fun to see many children wearing butterfly wings as they participated in last year’s parade. She said festivalgoers may stop by a face-painting station to get their faces painted with a butterfly design so they also can be a part of the parade. Hart said another activity that captivated last year’s festival attendees was the monarch release. Hart said so many people wanted to release the butterflies last year that organizers probably will raffle off the chance to free them at this year’s event. Hart said Cole firefighters served food at last year’s festival but ran out due to the larger-than-expected crowd. She said food vendors will be on hand Saturday, so no one will go away hungry. Hart said the festival date was chosen because it is the estimated time for the monarchs, traveling in large numbers called congregations, to visit Cole on their way south. However, she said the weather may have alternate plans for the butterflies. "It can blow the butterflies east or west of Cole. If there’s a south wind blowing against them, they’ll lay low for the day,” Hart said. She said the festival will go on with or without the anticipated monarch migration sighting. "We can’t guarantee that we’ll see congregations, but we’ll still celebrate,” she said.
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Butterfly Festival→When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Parade of Butterflies is at noon. Monarch release is at 2 p.m. →Where: Cole Community Center and Park, State Highway 74B and Main Street. →Cost: Free. →Information: 485-2962.